Sarah Goetz

Artist Statement

I make art compelled by things that matter to humans, things that exhibit their matter, and the signifiers that connect these matters. That is, I work with words and moving images at the intersection of emotionally, politically, or personally charged content with natural processes like melting ice, gravity pulling objects down stream, or air drying out my tongue as someone holds it.

Things that matter which I've addressed recently include sexual violation, global warming, LGBTQ issues, and attempts to hold on to a past that is slipping away. Things that exhibit their matter which I've recently used include the elasticity of my tongue, 300lbs of ice, and the heat of the concrete of a Southern summer sidewalk.

I take my bearings primarily from the traditions of conceptual art, land art, performance art, video art, and experimental film. My work crisscrosses disciplines: a video of a performance with/of objects of written word result in many instances of art. While oriented to art history and problems of communication, my unquenchable desire to understand how technologies matter constantly draws me into experimentation with the affordances of both old and new media.

As my objects and performances have become more ephemeral, I've combined my training in experimental and documentary film with my art practice in a turn toward artist's cinema. In video installations, I've been toeing the blurry lines between moving image as art documentation and moving image as art work, shooting a performance and shooting ​as​performance, footage as a collection of experiences and projection as experience of light.

These explorations have coincided with my research on and conviction that the era of text message, social media, and (silenced) screen ubiquity have gagged said/heard communication in favor of written/read communication in a manner reminiscent of the silent film era. I believe that this shift in voices that can be read-not-heard or written-not-spoken matters to society as global warming matters to the earth, and it has joined the strategies of mattering I explore in my work.